Episode 64: Daniela Ciocan, Marketing Director at Cosmoprof NA

When Daniela Ciocan, Marketing Director at CosmoProf, scored her first internship at a huge legacy brand, she was surprised to learn corporate life wasn’t for her. “I’m very much driven by novelty and doing something new and different, and I realized working for such a large company, I wouldn’t have that opportunity,” she observes. That anonymous, cog-in-a-wheel feeling was an important a-ha moment at the start of her career, and it’s one that’s stayed with her since. “Really try and uplift and listen to the young, entry-level individuals. Engage them. Be open. Try things.”

In this episode, hear her fascinating backstory, one that starts in communist-era Romania and leads to a dynamic role in America’s top B2B beauty trade show. She also dispenses some key marketing advice for indie and legacy brands alike that you won’t want to miss.

Dan Hodgdon
AnnouncerWelcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® hosted by Jodi Katz, Founder and Creative Director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzHey everybody. I am excited to say that I'm sitting with Daniela Ciocan. She's the marketing director at CosmoProf North American. Welcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY®.
Daniela CoicanThank you. I'm excited to be here this morning.
Jodi KatzI'm so happy to see you. Last night I got to see you at your CosmoProf preview event.
Daniela CoicanYes, which was great. I hope you discovered something new.
Jodi KatzI did actually discover something new, and I'm going to try it at home, and see if I can do it, and then I'll report back. Because it's incredibly novel.
Daniela CoicanAwesome.
Jodi KatzBut I was trying to think about the first time that I met you, and you have such a striking presence with your beauty look, your hair, you're always in a bold lip. Is that right?
Daniela CoicanYes. I try to.
Jodi KatzI remember meeting you at ... I think it was last year's Women's Rights Ally Beauty Summit. We were sitting at the same table, and I haven't forgotten your face.
Daniela CoicanThank you.
Jodi KatzHave you always kind of owned this beauty look, because it's what you've been wearing for a long time?
Daniela CoicanI always did. I think because of my pale skin, I've been very privileged to be able to play. Since we're in beauty industry, I'm very experimental with my look as well, so I did from jet black from blue hair to now I'm super blonde. I do pink in my hair, so I do like playing with my look. I think that that's one of the privileges we have since we work in beauty.
Jodi KatzYeah. I was blonde once. I don't think ...
Daniela CoicanIt's not easy.
Jodi KatzIt was not easy. I was living in Miami at the time, so it made a lot of sense.
Daniela CoicanSo you had to be.
Jodi KatzThe minute I moved back to New York, I felt like a fish out of water, you know? It felt so strange, like I was in a costume all the time. But when you live in Miami or any other sort of warm place, it's very easy to go blonde very quickly.
Daniela CoicanIt is. I'm west coast right now, so I have to. I'm going blonder and blonder, and I say it's really the sun. It's nothing else. I'm getting blonder from the sun.
Jodi KatzRight. It's a ton of maintenance, but I think I am ... I'm a brunette, but I have played with putting color in the back, like the underneath layer. After I had my first kid, I felt like, "Oh, I don't wanna be just the mom on the playground. I wanna be the cool mom on the playground."
Daniela CoicanYou wanna be the cool mom. Of course, yeah.
Jodi KatzRight.
Daniela CoicanKnow all the beauty tricks and what's hot and trending, why not? You should totally do that.
Jodi KatzI had long hair at the time, so I dyed the whole underlayer blonde, and then we put in, I don't know, pink or whatever other colors. That was my way of having a little fun, trying to hold onto the hold me as I became the new me.
Daniela CoicanYou should still do that.
Jodi KatzYeah, but I don't wanna sit in a chair that long.
Daniela CoicanI know, that's the problem. It's just the maintenance. That's why I said it's not easy.
Jodi KatzYeah. I mean, I love the idea, but I just don't feel like I wanna sit in the salon for the hours it takes to get my hair bleached out, and then to put the color in. But I think about it all the time. My sister-in-law's a colorist, so I have ...
Daniela CoicanOh, so you have someone in the family.
Jodi KatzSomeone in the family, access to her. I mean, it's awesome. So it will happen again.
Daniela CoicanOkay. Come July, do it. CosmoProf North America, okay?
Jodi KatzOkay, maybe. It's a good goal. I need a goal.
Daniela CoicanYou have 40 days, about 45 days I think, so you have time to do it and surprise me. Don't say it. Just show up.
Jodi KatzOkay, I will. I love it, okay. So that's on my list. Okay, tell us, because you're not from New York, how you're gonna spend your time today in New York.
Daniela CoicanSo every time I come to New York City, which is pretty often, it's almost two weeks, I have a crammed schedule. Today after this, I have a meeting with a company that creates very sticky content for beauty brands that they push out on digital media. I'm meeting with them, and then we have an awards program that we launched with Beauty Packaging last year, and it's recognizing innovative package and contract manufacturing formulations. We have a jury of judges that come from the industry, and then today we're all meeting, later today, to review the finalists for each category and select the winner.
Jodi KatzOh, that's so fun.
Daniela CoicanAnd the winner will be announced in Las Vegas on Monday, July 30th as part of a ceremony.
Jodi KatzSo that's a pretty fun job to have, right? Jury.
Daniela CoicanYes. I'm privileged to have my hands involved in a lot of fun projects.
Jodi KatzThat's awesome. Well, let's talk about your story because it's so fascinating. I'm so happy that you're willing to open up with us about it. You were born in Romania.
Daniela CoicanI was born and raised in Transylvania, and I came to New York City. I came to the States with my mom. My dad was already here. We left the country during communist Romania. My dad wanted me to have a better life and have opportunity so he decided he was gonna sacrifice himself and do it. I was an only child, and then I showed up here and I was a rebelling teen, and you know you're going through so much at that age. I had to leave all my friends, come to a different culture, and it was a culture shock, because I went to a public school and there were all nationalities and all colors and races, and I have never seen anyone different than I, different than my skin tone. And someone who spoke a different language, I've never seen that. So it was a culture shock for me.
Jodi KatzAnd were you a teenager at the time?
Daniela CoicanYeah.
Jodi KatzWhat was your mindset when your family said, "Oh, we're moving"?
Daniela CoicanI cried nonstop. I didn't wanna go, but I had no choice, because when you're a teenager, you just have to do it, follow.
Jodi KatzRight, but you can remember ...
Daniela CoicanI remember clearly. I remember clearly coming here. I remember the smells in the school when I first went in. I was so afraid. My mom came with me. The first week when I went to school, my mom would come with me and sit outside of the class to just wait for me, because I was very worried and I wasn't happy.
Jodi KatzWere you speaking English at that point?
Daniela CoicanI spoke English. I recognized I had an accent and I sounded different than the kids, and I didn't want to speak, and I didn't speak for a long time. I was always very quiet, and I kept to myself. But yeah, the realization that I was different, I spoke different, really sank in with me and made an impression. I think to this day I carried that with me, where I'm always very quiet.
Jodi KatzRight. In my few interactions with you before the podcast, I realized that you're very quiet, and that comes across to me as someone who's confident and feels powerful. I am a kind of diarrhea of the mouth sort of person. I'm like, don't stop talking.
Daniela CoicanI'm so jealous. I'm jealous over people like that. I don't have that. So not only what happened when I came to this country and me realizing I sounded different, but coming from communist Romania, when you grow up in a communist country, you're told from an early age to be careful what you say, not to share too much because you could get in trouble over what is being said at home. That is ingrained in me, and that's the reason I'm very quiet. I think sometimes it comes off maybe not necessarily as being very friendly, or standoffish, but it's not that at all. It's just you grow up with it, and I can't change it. I wish I could. Sometimes I force myself.

But it's funny to hear people's perspective because they always think, even when I speak, for example, I hate public speaking and working with CosmoProf, I have to do that quite a lot and make announcements. There's nothing I hate more than getting in front of an audience and speaking, and I have to do it. When I do, everyone says, "Oh, you did so amazing. You had such confidence." And I'm like, "No I didn't. I was dying inside. I think it was terrible." So it's interesting to see people's reactions and perceptions of you, and then what you really have inside of you, right?
Jodi KatzAbsolutely. I feel like that's the whole point of this podcast series, honestly, is hear what's going on really inside people.
Daniela CoicanYes, behind your brain. In your brain.
Jodi KatzBecause I think when we go out into the world and do our jobs ...
Daniela CoicanThere's a perception. There's always a perception and how you have to ...
Jodi KatzRight. Like everything's fabulous, everything's easy, everything's whatever. And it's not true, and I think it's kind of damaging to think that everyone around you has it all together, and everything's easy for them. That's really the reason why I started the podcast, is I needed to understand, am I the only feeling afraid or fearful or nervous or a lack of confidence? But let's talk about high school, because I just really find this so fascinating. Do you remember who the first people were who reached out and became friendly with you?
Daniela CoicanYeah, she's still my best friend to this day. She's from Romania as well. My first day to high school, my first class was PE, right? Physical ed. So I went to the class and then I waited after it was over, because in Romania, you would be with the same group of kids for all your classes, and here it's different. You each go to your own session, and I did not know that. So day one, I went and I kept waiting, and no one came back, so then I went home. Day two, same thing happened.
Jodi KatzWait, you went home right after PE?
Daniela CoicanYes, because I kept waiting and no one would come ... like there was no teacher who came. Kids didn't come back. So day two I did the same thing, and then day three I was wearing this Romanian top that are so trendy right now, the embroidered ...
Jodi KatzOh yeah.
Daniela CoicanYeah, like ethnic tops made out of cotton. So I was wearing it and this girl comes to me and says "hi" in English, and I said "hi." And she's like, "Um, are you Romanian?" I said, "How do you know? Yes." She's like, "Your top." I was like, "Oh, okay." She says, "What are you waiting for here?" And I said, "Well, I don't understand. Where is everyone going? What am I supposed to do?"

So she took my schedule and then she said, "You have to go to this classroom and this classroom," and it was all different. It was a difficult experience, but she was my first friend, and she's still my best friend.She's like, "Oh, let me explain."
Jodi KatzShe's still your best friend. That's so beautiful. I could just imagine that that feeling of somebody talking to you ...
Daniela CoicanIt was a relief. Suddenly someone speaks to you in your language and now you understand the system.
Jodi KatzRight, and to guide you and ... I love high school movies still, and I kinda feel like I'm there with you right now, like ...
Daniela CoicanMolly Ringwald.
Jodi KatzYeah. I even watch high school TVs, like things that are not meant for a 42-year-old, but I love it. I think there's so much value in revisiting those really raw emotions, and it's so cool to hear that you're still friends with her today. That's awesome.
Daniela CoicanWe are. We are, yeah. She is.
Jodi KatzThat's cool. Well, let's talk about beauty. Was it always your passion?
Daniela CoicanYeah. I fell in love with beauty ... I didn't know what I wanted to do. Coming from communist Romania, you don't have marketing there. There's no need for marketing. You're barely eating. So coming here, I didn't know what I wanted to do. For sure, I had to go to school, to university, to college. And I started, I did accounting first and I thought my parents wanted me to do that, and I didn't even know what accounting was. So I did it six months and then I realized after the first semester, it was the most boring thing ever for me. Then I changed majors again to business administration. Super boring. There was nothing to it. So then I dropped out of school. I stopped, and then-
Jodi KatzSo wait, you have a ... You're an immigrant family. Your parents come to the US with you to make a better life for you. You get into college, and then you drop out?
Daniela CoicanI drop out.
Jodi KatzWas there like, chaos and screaming in the household?
Daniela CoicanNot really, because at the same time, my dad got sick. My dad was the primary breadwinner and then he had some health issues, so then I had to go to work. I worked for a year while he was getting better, and then when he did, then I said, "I wanna do modeling." I signed up with the local modeling agency, with Next in New York City. When you're a young girl and you're with a modeling agency, you're invited to all parties, so I would party all of the time and not work. Then I would come home about half an hour before my dad would go to work.
Jodi KatzSo you're coming at like, 430 in the morning?
Daniela CoicanYeah, kind of. Yeah, exactly. So my father sat me down and said, "You need a job or you move out." Because they're very traditional. So okay, I need a job but I don't really have skills. So I'm ready to go clubbing. I'm dressed to the nines. I have beautiful makeup on. A pretty girl, and then I go late at night, like 800 pm in a department store, JC Penny's. At the time they were selling Prestige Beauty and Revlon used to be Prestige, and I say, "I want a job." And this older gentleman looks at me and is like, "Okay, fill out the application." Then I got called in and then they hired me to sell makeup. I was a makeup artist, and I loved it.

I fell in love with the industry then, so I was in very, very early 20s, and that's when I decided I wanted to pursue a career. I just didn't know how. I knew I wanted to be in beauty, but I didn't understand the opportunities. I didn't understand that you could work in corporate. I kind of intuitively knew you could, but I didn't know there was a path you could follow. I discovered FIT, and I went. I met with a chairperson, and FIT was just starting out. I think it was year three they were doing the program, and the chairperson said, "Yes, if you come to this school and you graduate, you could work in product development." I didn't even know what that meant. I was like, "What is product development?" Or you could do marketing, and it sounded so exciting and glamorous, and I was just wanting it. So I signed up and then I went to FIT, graduated magna cum laude and that's how I got into beauty.
Jodi KatzBack to modeling. Did you actually make any money doing it?
Daniela CoicanNo.
Jodi KatzNo.
Daniela CoicanVery good question.
Jodi KatzBut I imagine you probably met a lot of other Romanian women.
Daniela CoicanNo, I didn't.
Jodi KatzOh, really?
Daniela CoicanNo. No, no.
Jodi KatzWell, okay. So you graduated from FIT. Did you automatically get a job after school?
Daniela CoicanWhile in school, I had to do an internship that's part of the program to this day. For me, I was dead set on doing my internship at Lauder. That was my dream. My dream job was to work at Estée Lauder on 5th Avenue in the corporate offices. I did my internship there for six months, and it was an eye-opening experience because I realized one thing that stuck with me for the rest of my life to this day, which is, I cannot work in a big corporate environment. I wanted to have the opportunity to just do things, and one day be able to immerse myself into one activity and then another day, do something else. I'm very much driven by novelty and doing something new and different and trying out things, and I realized that working for such a large company, I wouldn't have the opportunity.

Then I got a job a few months after graduating. I worked with Kose. Kose is one of the largest Japanese manufacturers and they wanted to get into the western market, and they just had this one brand called Awake. Beautiful brand. I was the second person the distributor had hired, and I knew about beauty. I mean, I had sold beauty products behind the counter. I went to school. I did the internship at Lauder, but I needed a mentor, and I thought I could learn so much more from just being in the business world. I realized a few months into it that I knew way more about beauty than he did, but he knew business and he really taught me the skills that I have to this day, which is be personable. When you write an email, don't just for the kill. Always soften it. Say, "Hello. How are you?" And to this day, honestly I think of him, because I write an email and there's so much coming around showtime and I'm just trying to be direct, and when I reread the email, it's always like, "Whoa, wait. I need to say hi, how are you? Is everything okay? Hope you're well." So those are things I learned from him.
Jodi KatzRight. Let's go back to the internship at Lauder, because you mentioned realizing that it's not the right place for you. When I was in college, I did an internship at AT&T, so not beauty, but also like a giant company, and I also felt like, "This is not right for me." Are you challenged by hierarchy?
Daniela CoicanYes. Yeah. Very much so. Very much so, yeah.
Jodi KatzThat's what I think I summarized my discomfort and, I guess sense of like, "This isn't for me." I summed it up as, "Hierarchy's really hard for me."
Daniela CoicanYeah.
Jodi KatzWhy do you think it's hard for you?
Daniela CoicanBecause you want to feel like you matter, I think. When you're in a large company, it's difficult to give that to every single employee, especially to entry-level employees. You don't get that reinforcement. You don't get the attention you need, and I think that we all thrive on it. I think we all need it, and many, especially with technology organizations these days, are understanding that and they have a way of flat organizational structure where people feel like they can say something. They can do projects that they're passionate about, and I think more companies should look into it, because otherwise you're just de-motivating people that are young and come with a fresh eye and a fresh perspective, but they cannot contribute.
Jodi KatzRight. At Base Beauty, we talk about, we're not competitors. We're collaborators. I think that's what happens in a hierarchy. People become like, "Well, I'm ahead of you. I'm older than you. I've been here longer." All this stuff comes into play and all the politics of just doing the work, so yeah, we are like ... I don't know if we're flat. We're sort of like a circle, you know? I don't know how to describe it.
Daniela CoicanYeah.
Jodi KatzBut hierarchy makes me uncomfortable. I can be a pedestrian, like I can have a client that's very hierarchical and I can look in on it, and knowing that I'm not in the muck of it is thrilling, quite frankly, to be able to help them but not be in it.
Daniela CoicanYeah, yeah.
Jodi KatzI agree with you. I think it's really, it sort of sucks the life out of people, especially young people. I remember my first job out of college was at a giant advertising agency, like one of those huge New York agencies. Global.
Daniela CoicanAnd you feel like you're a cog in a wheel.
Jodi KatzWell, my job was to literally move something from this room to that room, or from this floor to that floor, but I think bigger businesses would be able to move forward and stay relevant if they could have a way to hear what's happening with the younger people. We know that in beauty. Our younger Gen Z consumer is it, right? She's everything we wanna talk about now, and how to communicate with her and share with her, but a lot of industry's just really miss the mark that way. It's nice to meet someone who is also so challenged by hierarchy, because I always felt sort of like a loner in that sense, so thank you for sharing that.
Daniela CoicanAbsolutely.
Jodi KatzI love this idea that you worked on the beauty floor, because I do hear this story often. I started at retail, and I actually tell young people who are like, "How do I get a job in beauty?" They wanna get a job at a brand or an agency. I say, "If you can't get that internship, just go get a job at a store. That proves that you really care. You're gonna learn so much." And so many of my important lessons of navigating through this business, I learned while having to be in-store. What were some of those lessons that you carry with you from being on the floor?
Daniela CoicanWell, to this day, like you said, it makes an impact on you, being able to be behind a counter and relate with a consumer, where you're one-on-one and you're trying to sell them, give them a product that they're not familiar with, and it's not easy. It's not easy to do that, and you have to have the confidence and really believe in it. So when I look at something, I think about a consumer. I think like a consumer. It transformed me. And for me, even when I worked on the brand side, so before working with CosmoProf, I worked with Kose and we had this brand, Awake. I would make my team go and work in a store whenever we had PAs at Henri Bendel here in New York City. I would make my team come down and work in a store. I work in a store when we had PAs. No matter that I was the number two in the company. I would be behind the counter, because it's so crucial hearing feedback from your consumers, seeing how they relate with your product. What do they like? Like, the first thing, what they do when they open a bottle. They smell it. They all smell it, always smell it. So those kinds of observations are so important.
Jodi KatzRight. I learned also the art of how to engage a conversation with someone who knows that you're a salesperson and they know they're the customer, but how to soften that. You know, you spoke about doing that via email, right? Whenever I go into stores, I feel like a secret shopper now, because I know all this. Are you like a secret shopper all the time?
Daniela CoicanYeah. I'm a bad shopper though, because I'm very direct. I know what I want, and it's frustrating when someone's trying to sell me. I just want the information because I'm going there with a specific purpose in mind, and I don't want to be sold on something. I don't want you to tell me ... I just have a question. If I have my question, just answer my question. So I sometimes get frustrated, so I think I'm a bad shopper.
Jodi KatzOh, I'm like a really ... I so love secret shopping, so I will actually play along.
Daniela CoicanOh, you will? No. No for me, no.
Jodi KatzI'm the opposite of you. If you're like, "Oh, blah blah blah, eyeliner, eye cream ..."
Daniela Coican"Oh, tell me more."
Jodi KatzYeah, because I wanna see if they close the deal. That's my biggest challenge. I'm like my agency's only salesperson and I'm as far from being a salesperson as you can get. I'm great at listening. I'm great at seeing opportunity, but the closing the deal, making the sale is so hard for me. I'm so intimidated by it.
Daniela CoicanAsking for the money.
Jodi KatzRight. Asking for the work, asking for the money, and believing in myself that we're the right partner for you. There's kind of like a self-doubt thing that plays out. But that's what I'm waiting for. I want them to close the deal. I wanna see how they do it. I'm so fascinated by it, and sometimes it's done really wonderfully, and I act different roles. So I'll go into like a prestige store and I'll say, "I don't wanna spend a lot of money," and see how they handle it. Or I'll go into a mass store and be like, "I really want the best." So it's super fun for me. I should just make a career out of secret shopping.
Daniela CoicanYou should, you should. You should do a diary about it on the podcast. "My experience shopping [inaudible 002328] today."
Jodi KatzI should. I love it. It's so fun. Okay, let's talk about closing the deal when it comes to CosmoProf. You're meeting with zillions of brands, trying to figure out who are the right partners to be at the show and be part of the story. Is there a closing the deal aspect to your work now?
Daniela CoicanNot as much. My job is really to oversee anything that is experiential at the show, so I'm involved more in the creative process, which is very fun, but part of the creative process when I started, I had to focus on engaging the retailers, the retail organizations and make sure they were coming to Las Vegas and I came up with an idea of creating a special area that I can curate, I can hand-select products that go in. We launched Discover Beauty 11 years ago, I think. 10 years ago. And then for that area, since it was my idea and my playground, I curated it. I do the curation to this day for all special areas, which are now almost, a little over 10% of the show.

So in doing that, yes. You do actively seek for brands, because you want to bring in trends and novelty, and I oftentimes go to other shows or events, and then I seek out entrepreneurs to tell them and educate them on CosmoProf. There, you do a little bit of selling, but it's from a perspective of, we are really trying to help your business, and this is what it can do for you. So I think the sale's a bit easier, but asking for the money is never easy. Closing the deal for sure is not an easy feat, and it's a frame of mind. You have to be in that frame of mind.
Jodi KatzSo let's talk about this perspective you have now with this job. I see it as sort of a birds-eye view of the industry, right? You're an explorer. You're discovering and then you're curating. This sounds like a pretty awesome job.
Daniela CoicanIt's awesome. The one thing that CosmoProf gives to me and the reason I've stayed for so long and I want to stay a long time is because I get to be involved in not only talking to so many interesting companies and startups that cover technology, that cover all kinds of services, and companies from outside the industry too, because I love bringing fresh views and you bring them in conferences. So you organize conferences, and I have so much fun with that. But then it's the curating. So talking to so many entrepreneurs and startups that are just launching and they wanna get to distribution, so getting to hear their stories, and then working with retailers who tell you what is it that they're looking for, what's their white space? Working with investors, working with influencers.

So you're kind of at the hub of everything, and there's so much information that comes to me on a regular basis, and sometimes I say to my team, my friends, "I feel like I'm the 411 office because I get all these calls from random people just asking what's trending in the States, what should I bring into my department store in Italy or whatever? I need to hire someone. Can you recommend someone? I'm looking for a job. I'm looking for a contract manufacturer." I'll get the most random things on an ongoing basis.
Jodi KatzAnd because of that, are you a great connector?
Daniela CoicanYes, very. I'm a good network, I think. Very good, and I always believe in the six degrees of separation, and I've proven that it works because when I set my mind, when I do a project and I really want someone, I have an idea of who I wanna go for, I am relentless. I'm like, "Okay, who do I call? Who would know someone that would know that person?" Yeah. We got Mark Cuban in a similar way, because I had like, "We can get him. I know we can get him. How?" And we did.
Jodi KatzThat's awesome. So my last bunch of questions for you are really to tease out some nuggets of wisdom from this birds-eye view, since you're in the middle of it all. My two questions, and I'll give them both to you. You can pick the first one first, second one second. Knowing what you know and seeing what you've seen, the first one is, what advice would you give to someone who's starting a beauty brand? How do you compete in this incredibly cluttered market? And the second is, what advice would you give to a marketer who's taking over a tired brand, a dated brand? Because it might be different, right? Like a brand that maybe people have heard of but don't care about anymore, versus something that's brand new in the market.
Daniela CoicanI think for an entrepreneur, they really have to understand the market dynamics because we see a lot of people coming from outside the industry or individuals that worked at multinationals who now wanna start their own brands, and when you start on that journey, you always think of the product. That's what gets you excited, right? Creating the right formula, the right texture, the packaging. You fail to understand the business dynamics, the markups, the margins, what do retailers really ask for these days? Because those margins are so high. Did you build that into your cost?

I see that so much, where we have companies come at the show, they spend all their money into creating this beautiful product, and then there they are with the hopes of, "If only Sephora or Ulta will walk by, then they will pick up my brand and then I'm all set." Reality is, that's when you better bring your pocketbook to the table, because now you're gonna start spending. Most of them have, by that point, spent all their savings because they think, "Now I'm going to sell product and it's just going to sell like hotcakes, and I'm getting the revenue coming in."

So I think that would be my first advice, like really understanding the margins and then what retailers' expectations are, and can you afford it? Is it the right place? I know everyone dreams to be at Sephora, but is that really the right place for you? Think about all the support you need to give, and then the margin you're gonna pay, and then decide. Don't make it like a gut reaction just because you go and it looks glamorous and there's so many Sephora stores, and there's so many brands there. It's not necessarily the right place.

Then if you're on the other side, if you work for a legend brand that needs a little bit of TLC, I would say what we were discussing earlier. Try to get away from that structure where it goes from the top down, and really uplift and listen to the young entry-level individuals, because they have the perspective that's unadulterated, that is to fresh, and they have so many ideas. Engage them. Listen to them, and be open. Try things. I think the beauty of CosmoProf and the reason we've won so many awards for innovation for trade shows is I always do new things. I always say, "Well, what if? What if? Let's try. If it doesn't work, maybe we learned something and then we'll do it better next year. Or if not, we don't do it. But we tried." And try in a small way. You don't have to invest millions of dollars. Try a small project. Now with online, it's so easy to just test a concept and see if it has legs.
Jodi KatzI love that advice. I think this idea like, "Try it and we'll see what happens," it's the opposite of perfectionism, right? It's saying, "It's okay if it doesn't work. It's okay if we learn only one thing and the one thing is to not do it again." I think so many people suffer from perfectionism.
Daniela CoicanPerfectionism, it's true. There was a book I was reading. I forgot the name, but it really talks about how technology companies are very good at just throwing out ideas, even if they're not fully baked, but putting it out there and seeing how consumers interact with the technology, and then finessing it and working on it. I think that that's something to learn from.
Jodi KatzRight. Super advice. Well, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us today.
Daniela CoicanIt was my pleasure. It was fun.
Jodi KatzAnd for our listeners, I hope you enjoyed this interview with Daniela. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes and for updates about the show, follow us on Instagram at WhereBrainsMeetBeautyPodcast.
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